Court of Dreams….

 Vineyard Streetball Classic       

Well the 10th Anniversary of Vineyard Streetball Classic went off without a hitch, thanks to the hard work, commitment, and dedication of Mike Daniel, Omar Daniel, Marc Rivers and a host of other volunteers, sponsors, supporters, and spectators. The basketball courts were swept of debris, the drills completed, teams were posted, and finally the students lined up to compete in the Vineyard Streetball Classic on a hot July day. As the sun beat down on the competitors and with a burst of the whistle, the teams squared up, and the ball was tossed high in the air and the basketball challenge had begun, to the delight of spectators, and organizers, alike.

                                                 

It was a chance for the youngsters to define and refine their skills, perfect the fundamentals of the game, and finally, to display their basketball prowess on the court. For the spectators, it was a chance to watch creativity and artistry in motion as each student played with originality, reverence and zest. Mike never missed an opportunity to inspire the students visually, audibly, demonstratively and with gusto. With barely concealed delight, Mike relished sharing his passion for basketball and competition all the while earnestly passing the torch from one generation to the next, as Mike was the beneficiary of that same torch many years ago, on the exact same basketball court.

This is what Vineyard Streetball Classic is all about; passion, creativity, dedication, hard work, diligence, practice, discipline, endurance, effort and joy. The athletes played with intensity, originality and tenacity delighting everyone who participated, competed and watched the 10th Anniversary of the Vineyard Streetball Classic. Everyone competed valiantly and contestants played with respect, and jubilation and all emerged triumphant and victorious.

 

             Victory….

 Marc refs the game…

For Mike, conceiving and creating the Vineyard Streetball Classic transcends the game of basketball; it is a metaphor for what he believes and how he has lived his life, yesterday and today. There is nothing phony or inauthentic about Mike, what you see is what you get, and for him, it’s all about basketball, it’s in his DNA.

Mike’s ingenutity, and his life choices, reflect his core values and beliefs. It is his innovation, imagination and passion that motivate and inspire him and in doing so, he has inspired a new generation of future basketball stars to reach for their own dreams while making an impact in their own communities and beyond, just like Mike.

Mike brings the ball down..

So while this year, the Vineyard Streetball Classic is over, the lessons on and off the court will reverberate for years to come for the athletes, the spectators, the organizers, and me. It is easy to measure success by material things and so much harder to recognize and measure success by the intangible things that make each and every one of us gifted, creative and unique. Like everyone else, I may forget that from time to time, but I think I’ve finally gotten it, this time, thanks Mike.

This year I looked around for creativity and proof of divinity and serendipity in my life and I am so lucky that I found a living example of it in the soul of my long time friend, Mike D. (no S).

 Mike and Marc consult, just like back in the day…..

PS. sometimes you’re living the dream and sometimes the dream shows up in your real life.  Build your dream and your dream will build you a life…

Welcome Dr. Julius Irving to Vineyard Streetball Classic.

Dr. J, welcome…

pss. all photos of Vineyard Streetball Classic have been taken by the fabulous Tim Johnson, hop on over to his website to view fantastic photographs.

Celebrating the10th Anniversary of Vineyard Streetball Classic!!!!

                                

The Vineyard Streetball Classic  team will be at Niantic Park, Oak Bluffs, MA, Martha’s Vineyard for pre-registration :

Sunday July 1st from 2pm -4pm
Monday July 2nd from 2pm- 4pm & 7pm – 9pm

Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Vineyard Streetball Classic…everyone welcome…..

My friend Mike D. (no S), loves everything and anything about the subject of basketball. Since we were kids in middle school, basketball and music were his two loves, and he was rarely seen without a basketball in his hand, or dribbling the ball while asking if you’d heard the newest “jam” on the radio.  Mike is one of those rare people who everyone likes and who is authentic without artifice, ever.  Mike simply loves to play basketball win or lose, of course, he loves to win but Mike is not entirely interested in the accolades and cheers from the crowd, (he learned to love that though), he just wants to play the game to the level he expects of himself.

 As luck would have it, Mike grew up down the street from the very basketball court where the Vineyard Streeetball Classic has been held every year for the past ten years. Back then, Mike could be found at the basketball court, day after day, practicing foul shots, jump shots, dribbling (“with the left hand and switching to the right”) and lay-ups, perfecting his game, preparing for his next game or reliving a past game. If you hung out with him, you also spent time reliving the past game’s ups and downs with him, again and again.  Mike’s basketball education grew, as he was schooled each summer by the older kids who hung out at the basketball courts, perfecting their skills, and encouraging, challenging, and supporting his love of the game every step of the way. Now Mike is passing the torch to students from around the Northeast.

 It’s funny, although by no means a surprising, that Mike has built his life around both of his passions and used his creativity and business savvy, and his (Smooth) people skills, to conceive and build Vineyard Streetball Classic, an annual summer tournament program for students, ages 10 to 18, who eat, sleep, and breathe the game of basketball, just like Mike. With his nephew, Omar, and a coalition of close friends and supporters, Mike has managed to organize, promote, advertise, and enlist sponsors to support Vineyard Streetball Classic  for the past ten years.

The Vineyard Streetball Classic will be held again this year, at the same basketball court that Mike played on as a kid, down the street from his old house, “if you build it, they will come”. This year they will celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Vineyard Streetball Classic and family and friends alike will cheer them on once more as the visions of a few fulfill the dreams of many young students who love the game of basketball and get the wonderful opportunity to play in a summer tournament on Martha’s Vineyard, year after year.

Mike still talks about music and basketball but now he also loves to talk about Vineyard Streetball Classic so in a way, nothing much has changed as we’ve gotten older. The truth is though, Mike has taught me about following your passions, carving out your niche and creating a life that fits you exclusively. 

Mike has reminded me that whether its basketball, or painting, or writing, or business, we all have to follow our individual paths in creating the kind of life only we can dream about. In a way, we are all charged with the task of co-creating the life that gives us joy, purpose, and hopefully, serves the people around us, for there is no doubt, that is the true meaning of success.